Khan taking cricket by storm
By Michael Uugwanga
AT 21, Yasmeen Khan has established herself as one of the country’s top female cricketers and is now ready to fire Namibia’s senior women cricket team to future global appearances with the 2022 T20 International Cricket Council (ICC) women World Cup qualifiers to be staged in New Zealand, just around the corner.
Khan was born in South Africa but moved to Namibia with her parents before she turned a year-old, started playing the sport at the tender age of 10 and became captain of the senior team last year due to her leadership qualities both on and off the field of play.
The trailblazer who plays for Zebras Cricket Club in the local women cricket league made her Women’s Twenty20 International (WT20I) debut for Namibia against Malawi, in the 2018 Botswana Cricket Association Women›s T20I Series.
“I used to watch cricket on television with my father, and also played cricket in the backyard of our house. Once I got old enough to play for the boys’ team in primary school I decided to play cricket. It was something that just clicked and I really did not have an urge to try another sport but cricket.
“It is an honour to represent my country and to be the captain of any national team is something extremely honourable. My cricket idol is Alyssa Healy from the Australia women senior team as I really enjoy watching her play,” said Khan.
For any national team to do wonders on the international stage it is important that it has a leader that is capable to give 100 percent at any given time and Khan who plays as an all-rounder is just the right person to lead Namibia to greater heights in the near future.
Khan will try to emulate the men’s senior cricket captain Gerhard ‘Merwe’ Erasmus by helping her team qualify to the 2022 World Cup, just like how Erasmus pushed his team to qualify to the 2021 T20 World Cup.
“We have to be realistic at this stage. We have a strong young team which is very exciting and on top of that we also have enough time to prepare. In a couple of years, we will definitely be competitive enough. As a team we do a lot of conditioning, not only skills but also to be on our feet a lot, and lifting weights. As a captain and a player I usually eat healthy food and get enough sleep. Before a game I eat a light meal such as chicken stir-fry or salad with a banana,” she said.
Khan also thanked the management of Cricket Namibia for its continuing support towards women cricket in the country.
“We cannot promote women’s cricket enough by only playing, but by spreading the word. On the other hand I can say that women cricket is growing a lot as Cricket Namibia has already embarked on incorporating a lot of senior players in coaching capacity at junior levels.”
Cricket is one of the country’s fastest growing sports thanks to the CN Kwata Programme that is currently found in almost every region with the aim of bringing cricket closer to the people.